If you want to live longer, lessen your sitting time and supplant it with just 30 minutes of physical activity.
These are the conclusions of a recent study which appear in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
The results highlight the value of movement — regardless of its severity or amount of time spent moving — for better health.
“Our findings underscore an important public health message that physical activity of any intensity provides health benefits,” said lead author Keith Diaz of Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.
According to a recent study, About 1/4 adults spend more than eight hours a day sitting,
In an early study, Diaz and his teammates identified that adults who sat for long stretches at a time — an hour or more without letup — had a better risk of early death than those who were sedentary for the same total amount of time but got up and moved around more often.
They too noticed that people who sat for less than 30 minutes at a moment had the least risk of early death, recommending that taking movement breaks every half-hour could sink your risk of death.
But just how violent, and for how long, does the physical workout need to be to counter the ill effects of sitting?
The study also found that replacing just 30 minutes of sitting with low-intensity physical movement would cut down the risk of early death by 17 percent, a statistically significant decline.
Changing the same amount of sitting for slow to strong action would be twice as powerful, piercing the risk of early death by 35 percent.
The investigators also found that short spurts of activity — of just a minuscule or two — provided a health benefit.
Diaz said, “If you have a job or lifestyle that involves a lot of sitting, you can lower your risk of early death by moving more often, for as long as you want and as your ability allows — whether that means taking an hour-long high-intensity spin class or choosing lower-intensity activities, like walking,”